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Can I sue for the wrongful death of my unborn child?

If you are an Alaska woman who was injured in an auto accident that also killed your unborn child, you undoubtedly are going through one of the worst periods of your life. In addition to your own pain and suffering as you recover from your injuries, you also must deal with your immense grief at the loss of the baby whose birth you were so joyfully anticipating.

You may not realize that in addition to having the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who negligently caused the accident, you also have the right to file a wrongful death action against him or her for the loss of your unborn child. As FindLaw explains, Section 09.55.585 of the Alaska Code of Civil Procedure gives you that right when your child died as the result of someone’s negligent and/or wrongful acts, in your case the driver who caused the accident. The only other requirement is that you file the wrongful death suit within two years after your unborn child’s death.

What you can recover

You can recover a range of damages including the following:

  • The value of your loss of your unborn child’s reasonably expected services had (s)he been born and continued to live
  • Your loss of his or her consortium; that is, his or her companionship, comfort, etc.
  • Your grief and anguish at losing your unborn child
  • Punitive damages if the driver who caused the accident acted in intentional disregard for your unborn child’s life and safety, such as by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

While no amount of money can ever compensate you for the loss of your unborn child, prevailing in a wrongful death lawsuit can give you the satisfaction of knowing that you held the negligent driver accountable. It also may help you gain closure. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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